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printed December 1, 2015
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Review: Casio G'zOne Ravine

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The camera experience on the Casio G'zOne Ravine is pretty lousy. The viewfinder for the 3-megapixel camera is a tiny window on the main display. You cannot see the preview image full screen. Instead, you get a useless set of settings indicators, like a readout of the resolution of the current image, or a digital zoom bar. There are a bunch of options hidden under the Options menu, including controls for white balance and exposure, and the phone offers some basic color filter options, like black and white or sepia-toned shots. But there's nothing fancy; no panorama mode or scene mode controls.

You can use the external display as a viewfinder, but only with the phone open. This is more for self-portrait shots, and you can hardly tell what you're looking at with that low-res, monochrome display active. In fact, under darker lighting conditions, the external display showed only a black square. I couldn't see my own face at all.

There is no camera button on the Ravine; the center navigation button snaps the picture. That's acceptable, especially since the camera doesn't use auto focus, so there's no need for a two-stage button. After you've taken a shot, you can review the picture. Pressing the center button again on the review screen opens the Send menu for images, which is counterintuitive. I want the center button to take me back to the camera for more shooting, but instead I had to press the left Save key before I could see the viewfinder again. There is no way to skip the review screen or even have the camera automatically save every image.

Image Gallery

The image gallery is a basic, utilitarian view of all of your pictures. You can see your images first as thumbnails, then zoom in for a look at each image in a partial window. You can also select a full view of the image to see your images full screen in landscape mode. There are only a few basic editing tools for images. You can crop, rotate or resize an image, but that's all. You cannot tweak the exposure or color settings once you've snapped a shot. You can't even convert an image to black and white.

The image gallery also offers a few basic sending options. You can send an image as a picture message, or as an email attachment. You can also send photos to a computer over Bluetooth. There is even a print option on the phone, where you can send images to a Bluetooth-enabled printer. But there is no slideshow option, which seems like a strange omission.

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